Time to govern, not stonewall
Open letter to Sens. Corker and Alexander and Congressman Fleischmann:
I understand that you may not like 100 percent of what the president proposed on Thursday evening and you may think about passing just those items you agree with and rejecting all others.
But know this: unless you propose a substitute for those ideas that you reject that will accomplish a benefit to the people that you work for (we, the American people), I and everyone I can convince will definitely not vote for you the next time you are up for re-election.
Just disagreeing with all that is Obama is not doing your job. Get off your duff and do the job you are paid for -- governing, not stonewalling!
NELSON SULLIVAN, Hixson
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Court's ruling causes imbalance
Public interest groups are devising an amendment to the Constitution, to offset a Supreme Court ruling that corporations and people have equal protection. The court erred in giving CEOs twice the power to influence Congress because it guarantees that harm coming at us from corporate abusers and polluters will be unconstrained.
This may have compelled Obama to abandon promises to restore environmental protections. The Executive Branch is supposed to protect vulnerable citizens and conduct diplomacy. Congress is supposed to fairly regulate, appropriate money, and decide if war is to be declared. The court's majority ruling thus impedes duties and powers of these other two branches of government, causing imbalance.
Ralph Nader long has said that the Constitution created a commonwealth that became something else. All airwaves, Wall Street money, and one-third of public lands are ours: "We've the landlords, they're the tenants" but they control and they profit. Our standing to sue for redress of grievance is disappearing. The declaration of war clause withered.
So, shall the new amendment uphold the balance of our three federal branches, and disallow any encroachment by one upon the other, or let the argument ride only on "corporations aren't people"?
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Deficits not new for Republicans
When did the Republicans become worried about deficits? Ever since their hero, Ronald Reagan, started this deficit spending, every Republican president has left a record deficit.
Bush Sr. called Reagan's policies "voodoo" economics, then left a larger deficit than Ronnie's. Jr. blew the lid off.
We finally got surpluses of billions with a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. They would compromise and meet in the middle.
Don't the "tea party" seniors realize they are cutting their own throats. The people they are putting in office would rather take $6,000 a year in benefits away from each of them than raise their own taxes back to where they were when the economy was booming.
If we can ever get past color of skin, political labels, and listen to what each party says, it's an easy choice for 95 percent of us.
STEPHEN BORDERS, Hixson
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We should grieve for actions in Iraq
I have been watching the commemoration and testimonies about 9/11/01. It is agonizing. The survivors and their families have my profound sympathy and respect.
Then I started wondering if there was going to be a similar commemoration of the emotional aftermath of the tragedy of greater magnitude resulting from bombs we dropped on equally innocent people in Baghdad. There is no reason to think Iraqis cherish their lives and families' lives any less than we do.
We have reasons to grieve for 9/11, and we also have reasons to grieve for the immorality of our country's actions in Iraq.
We are justified in feeling sorrow and anger, but we are not justified in feeling moral superiority.
FRED H. WRIGHT
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Our perceptions a double standard
As we commemorate 10 years since the tragedies of 9/11, we search, sometimes in vain, for positive memories.
Most remember how well the nation came together that fall. We were united in collective admiration as our TVs delivered tale after tale of our first responders' heroism. Our pride in our country was renewed, and we began to believe that our hardest moments could be our best.
World views were definitely changed that day, many for the better. Recall how, for just a few months there in 2001, the cops weren't the jerks writing us parking tickets. They were heroes who risk their lives for their community. I have no friends or family in law enforcement. Still, I find the double-standard striking.
A young man puts on a uniform and carries a gun around the streets of Afghanistan, trying to make them safe; he's a hero.
But a young man puts on a uniform and carries a gun around an American city, trying to make it safe; he's a pig.
If there was any good to be taken from 9/11, it was that, if only for a brief moment, we realized just how flawed our perceptions had been.
MATT MORRIS, Ooltewah
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Political expedience guides Perry moves
Gov. Rick Perry, who once suggested the possibility of Texas seceding from the Union, has taken a hypocritical stand against federal stimulus.
More than any governor, Perry used $6 billion in stimulus to fund nearly 97 percent of Texas' budget shortfall. Without this stimulus, Perry would have had to raise taxes to balance the budget.
While a classic liberal, he supported the Gore campaign in Texas, and when Texas agriculture commissioner, he wrote to first lady Hillary Clinton: "Your efforts to reform the nation's health care system are most commendable." Obviously, political expedience has dictated a diametrically opposed course.
Perry denied a last-minute stay of execution for Cameron Todd Willingham. At the time, scientific analysis was being investigated indicating that Willingham was not guilty of arson in the fire that killed his three young daughters. In the opinion of many fire experts, Gov. Perry had an innocent man put to death.
This governor has declared Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional, programs paid for all their working lives by our citizens, who can be assured that if Perry should ever become presidents, their security and solvency would be in grave danger.
JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.
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Lack of action is beyond belief
I cannot describe how appalled I was when I read in Saturday's paper the story of a 12-year-old girl being lured by a man with candy and taken to a house and raped twice.
Her mother reported this to the police that same day and the man was arrested ... one year later!
This innocent child who had been snatched on her walk to school and cruelly attacked had to share the streets with her attacker for one full year before police picked him up. This is beyond belief.
The people at the top level of the Police Department owe an explanation to this family. There can be no excuse -- and to the citizens of Chattanooga for this terrible lack of action.
CAROLYN McCRARY, Hixson
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All goes well at UTC game
In sharp contrast to the Republicans in Congress who "just says no," the UTC home opener was a positive start of the football season.
Highlights: big crowd from both schools; two well-coached teams; enthusiastic UTC students who stood and cheered the whole game; an exciting, hard-fought game with few penalties or injuries; and a great half-time show by the two bands with JacState band rivaling in size any SEC band. Go Mocs.
CHARLES M. "ROCKY" RENNEISEN, Signal Mountain